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Voice of Steel - 100%

ShadowSouled, January 15th, 2010

Nokturnal Mortum has been one of the long standing staples of Ukrainan black metal; although their later compositions showcased a change in style, incorporating folkier elements than their previous releases, the overall quality of the material produced has steadily improved. Bearing this in mind, one should expect nothing short of brilliance in Voice of Steel.

This is Nokturnal Mortum's 5th album to date, consisting of 8 tracks and clocking in at a massive 69 minutes; what is more impressive than the length of the album is the fact that it is able to keep a hold on its listener right up until the end. The first track serves as an introduction; showcasing various folk instruments and a hammer striking an anvil among other things, it adequately prepares the listener for the next track. The musicians' scope and skill have increased since Weltanshauung. For example, the riffs are mindblowing as they were in that album; however, they all have a distinct progressive, "Pink Floyd" sound to them, which is especially prominent in the solos. The drumming is quite skilled, coping with odd timings with relative ease. Varggoth's demented shriek is still very much present in this album, although it is counterbalanced by very well-performed clean vocals. The host of folk instruments used in the album serve to provide an almost uplifting, upbeat atmosphere; however, this is far from being a party folk metal album. The production values are excellent, allowing the listener to hear each individual instrument with optimal sound quality.

To put it in four words, this album is mindblowing. If you enjoyed Weltanshauung - actually, even if you didn't, and you hate this genre in its entirety - buy this album. I guarantee that you will find at least one thing about it that you will love. Within that hour and ten minutes is regrouped everything that makes Nokturnal Mortum one of the bands at the forefront of the pagan metal movement. Highly recommended.